Lest We Forget

To mark Remembrance Day, we wanted to put together a very special list of books to commemorate those lost during World War I and World War II. Books on this subject remain an important part of bookshelves all over the world and serve as a reminder to those we lost and the horrors we hope never to relive.

For the soldiers who left their homes without knowing when and if they would ever return, we want to take a moment to share with you some of the books that have touched our hearts.

Lest we forget.

Private Peaceful: Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful

Beloved by many children (and adults!), Private Peaceful is a beautiful award-winning book told through the eyes of Tommo, a young soldier looking back on his childhood memories on a night where he waits for dawn, a time creeping up all too soon – which will change the course of his life forever.

This book is award-winning for a reason and we couldn’t love it more.

Birdsong: Sebastian Faulks

Argued by many to be the most heartbreaking love story set during World War I, this saga follows the story of a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, and his frequent and horrific trials with love and war.

Filled with sharp and realistic detail of the hardships soldiers had to face in the trenches and a journey by tunnel beneath no man’s land, this is a book celebrated by many and deemed a modern classic of our time.

We won’t give out too many spoilers, apart from the fact it’s an excellent book!

Harry’s War: Harry Drinkwater

Harry's War

This is an autobiographical book focused on the real life experiences of heroic British soldier, Harry Drinkwater. A remarkable read told through moving diary extracts, it reveals the truths and horrors of war which many can only imagine.

The fight for justice and freedom in a world filled with violence is what keeps Harry going and his triumph in the face of war is one which captures the heart and emboldens the brave.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This book is set in Guernsey during 1946, portraying the trials people faced during German Occupancy in the years previous. Written entirely in letter form, the story follows the correspondence between a British author, Juliet Ashton, and Dawsey Adams of Guernsey, where they relate stories of war and find extraordinary friendship in each other.

A book full of hope and the importance of friendship during hard times is what makes this book particularly special.

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics)

It’s widely known that many soldiers wrote poetry during their time in the trenches. This collection is a moving account of the lives the soldiers of World War I lived. Each poem is written either to a loved one, to friends, or simply by means of expressing their thoughts and emotions in a world where someone seems to have turned out the light.

However, the will to triumph and never give up, to never forget, is at the forefront of every word on each page and this collection is one truly dear to our hearts.

Testament of Youth: Vera Brittain

This book offers a unique and intimate window into the life of Vera Brittain, a young woman who wrote an inspiring account of her life throughout World War I, revealing a shocking and emotive read.

When war began, she was 20 years old and forced to abandon her dream of studying at Oxford to help the war effort like many women of her generation. Along the way, she became a nurse to care for the wounded, lost the man she truly loved as a result of the trying times, and encountered unimaginable terrors of war.

Published in 1933, this book is truly as prevalent, powerful and moving back then as it is now.

If you have any books that you would like to share with us on this subject, please comment below.

What’s On at Lost in Books

Throughout autumn, we have lots of events happening in Lostwithiel. Join us in chatting to local authors, admiring art exhibitions and being a part of the national Books are My Bag campaign – to mention just a few.

Take a peek below at our upcoming events here at Lost in Books.

Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival: 27th -29th September

This annual festival is one of Cornwall’s most famous poetry events, held at Sterts Theatre. Marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this year’s theme sees walls, barriers and borders at the heart of the festival.

Now in its 8th year, Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival welcomes poetry in all its forms, with music, dance, visual art and puppetry performed over the course of the weekend. Workshops, readings and opportunities to speak to established poets, up-and-coming talents, and likeminded readers makes this weekend a treasure not to be missed.

We’ll be selling poetry collections at the event itself with books from festival speakers available to purchase.

Book signing with Anna Chorlton – Cornish Folk Tales of Place: 5th October

Cornish Folk Tales of Place

Cornwall’s rugged coast is etched with stories.

Join us at 11am on 5th October for a book signing with Anna Chorlton. Her book Cornish Folk Tales of Place tells the many stories of Cornish folk tales from the east and north of Cornwall.

Filled with beautiful artwork from local artists and the chance to delve deeper into some of Cornwall’s legendary stories, this book is already becoming a firm favourite with indie booksellers across the county. Within its pages are tales bound to stir a memory in your heart, while others may be completely new to you. But, whichever the story, you’re guaranteed to feel the magic and myth of Cornwall with this book in your hands.

Anna will be available to sign books at this event. Everyone is welcome.

Bookshop Day: 5th October

Bookshop Day is all about championing a love of reading and shouting about the places which unite bookworms – bookshops! There will be lots of goodies available at Lost in Books to celebrate Bookshop Day, such as bookmarks, Books Are My Bag children’s bags, stickers, and bookish postcards. Set up by the national Books Are My Bag campaign, Bookshop Day promises to be full of fun for both booksellers and readers.

Come along and join us.

Art exhibition: Roberta Hopkins

Local artist Roberta Hopkins will be showcasing her beautiful art collection ‘Observations’ in our shop throughout the autumn months.

Blending her exquisite attention to detail with a love of our ancient town, Roberta’s etchings are available in the shop to buy, or simply browse. She also makes gorgeous jewellery, which you can see by visiting her website.

We’re incredibly proud to showcase her artwork on our walls, surrounded by beautiful books.

Author Event – Sarah Cave and Ben Smith

Recently, Lost in Books were proud to host a literary event showcasing two very talented writers. For the event, published poet, Sarah Cave, and debut novelist, Ben Smith, read aloud from their works, speaking about setting and place, how it’s used, and the tantalising consequence of how the absence of human life can have a deep effect on the confines of our minds when left alone out in the world.

Sarah Cave, who has published two poetry collections (with another on the way later this year!), tells the story of Slava, a Russian individual living in the Arctic inspired by the real-life Arctic weatherman in her striking collection An Arbitrary Line. The poignancy of her poetry, echoing themes of loneliness, humanity and the isolation within a huge and harsh climate, such as Northern Russia, is incredibly rich and evocative in its powerful use of language. While her poetry might be deep and wistful at times, there were definitely several shared laughs between her and the audience as she read her work aloud. Inspired by a reflection of the abstract and the effect the human mind can have once humanity has disappeared, this collection is a prize to keep close to your heart. Listening to her work and being drawn in by her rhythmic words was a pleasure.

Ben Smith, whose debut Doggerland, a dystopian exploration of family, fear and ever-prevalent climate change, also read at our event. Again, weaving in themes of loss, humanity and an isolated setting, hearing Ben’s prose being spoken aloud was mesmerising. Surviving in a world where the only two characters interact with each other and the sea, Ben’s debut has been described as a stylistic mixture between Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam and Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic prose. Needless to say, it was a treat to listen to his words and listen in on the details of how he wrote the book.

Situated along the idyllic riverbank of Lostwithiel, we believe there is no better place for a book event, set in an ancient town such as ours. Recently opened, we share our space with rustic, home decor shop, Atticus & Willow, filled with natural plants, greenery and delicate trinkets and treasures you can just as easily get lost in and find your inner gardener.

An independent bookshop dedicated to all things fiction and non-fiction, step into our space filled with all your favourite books. They line the shelves, creep up the walls, and lay stacked in plucky little piles beneath the rustic table centred in the middle of the room. Those books in turn breathe words, and those words weave into much-loved stories. The only thing they need is for somebody to step in, pick one up, and start reading. Why not come in and discover your next treasured read?

This event was such a wonderful experience to be a part of and listen to the words of two very talented artists. We hope to host many more to come, championing a love of reading and local authors with something unique to say.

Fancy visiting us? Pop in and say hello!